Being in a resourceful state is all about having the mental awareness to be more flexible. Now, this sounds like something everybody would want and should find easy to have – if only that were true.
When we are feeling good, when we are not feeling stressed but rested in our minds and healthy in our bodies, then finding a resourceful state is easier to do. The problem is that this is not usually when you need to have a resourceful mindset. When we need a resourceful mindset it tends to be when we are feeling at our most stressed or we are at our most emotional; and unfortunately this is also when we can feel less flexible, less able to look at things in a different way. So it feels a bit like a Catch-22 situation, but it doesn’t have to be.
Discovering what fits
It’s the old adage of practice makes perfect. In this case, practice means we get it more into our muscle, which means we are more able to access it at those times when we need it the most. However, in a world where things are instant and accessible at our fingertips, straightaway; the idea of practice can feel like another chore. Now, here at 3b, we like things to be simple and fun – definitely lots more fun. We know that by practising things we actually like and feeling silly and a bit weird as we’re doing it, can make it more fun and less like a chore. And, practising techniques and tools as part of the way we work together also helps, as we get to try things out and see what fits. Because this is what it’s all about – finding what works for you. Discovering things that fit, fit into our lifestyles, our ways of thinking, our personalities (that’s a huge one), how we can practice things and feel good. Once you feel good doing it then you will keep doing it.
What is important is that we practice getting ourselves into different mindsets, so we can be more flexible in our approach and more able to get into a resourceful state when we most need it. When we are in a resourceful state, we can deal with things better, we can manage difficult conversations, understand our emotions, be more resilient. This is something we all have within us – some may find it a little bit easier, others may take a little bit longer but that’s just how we are. By figuring out what works for us we are able to find that mental well-being that will really support us in our work and play.
Choosing the type of techniques and tools to support us depends on the mindset that we are in. For example if we have a tendency to catastrophise; this is when we always think the worst possible thing, then the technique that we need to use will be something that supports us to work ourselves out of this habit to hopefully stop the catastrophising altogether.
Check your thinking
Other ways of thinking that can lead to an unhealthy mindset and start to impact on our mental well-being are traits such as a lack of self-acceptance and perfectionism. Now self-acceptance is something I know well from personal experience, going through life always wanting to change something about myself so that I would feel more accepted by other people. In today’s society, with more access to information, people can grow up with a view of how they should be rather than how they actually are. And the people we actually are, those idiosyncrasies, our different ways of viewing things, that unique approach to life, that is what we should be nurturing not what other people tell us we should be. Even though we all know this deep down, what’s interesting is just how often it comes up within our conversations with friends, colleagues and also coaching clients. This view that everything has to be perfect or they’re not good enough, they haven’t done a good enough job even to the point where they feel the job is in jeopardy and the struggles that this brings them in their working life.
These different ways of thinking are just three examples of being in an unhealthy mindset, and indeed there are many more. However, the good news is that these are things that we can absolutely change. We literally have the power within us to stop these thoughts from getting in our way, from making us stressed and unhappy and constantly being in the spiral of ‘should’, which is not a good place to be. These mindsets really can affect our mental health, but by working on them we are able to find that resourcefulness within us to adapt, be more flexible have more resilience and build our mental well-being.